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Top 10 books about Europe


From Homer to Camus by way of Brecht, French author Laurent Gaudé picks the books that tell us something important about the continent today

The European Union is no topic for a novel. It’s not fiction. It’s boring. That’s what everyone told me when I began writing Our Europe: Banquet of Nations. So why did I decide to go ahead in spite of everything? Because I belong to a generation born with the notion that the construction of Europe would be the lasting, unchanging political framework of our lives as citizens. Now this same generation may witness its disintegration.

Today’s Europe is cut off from its own people, and no longer knows how to arouse political enthusiasm. All we see now is its unwieldiness; we forget the utopia at its heart. And yet I remain convinced that, despite our often legitimate anger and frustration with the slowness and dissension within the EU, it remains the most astonishing political adventure of recent decades. Where else and when have 28 countries decided, freely and democratically, to join their fates together?

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